Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hellen's Star Quilt Part 2

Wow, it has been 2 months since I posted part 1 of this post.   Since then, my parents have come to visit.  I took Mom on Wish Upon A Quilts first annual retreat, which deserves a post of it's own.  Then Matt took me on a cruise.  Since getting back I have been quilting like a banshee.

Now back to the actual subject of this post... Hellen's gorgeous Star quilt.

In the first post I discussed how I designed what I was going to do.  This post is going to be about the actual quilting.  I actually stayed pretty true to what I designed on my iPad.   The big green squares and dark blue setting triangles were a quandary.  I knew that I wanted to something special, but I was not sold on the curved crosshatching that I played with in the green areas. I knew what I was going to do everywhere else so I loaded the quilt and thought I would come up with something before I go to the body of the quilt.  When I got to that point I would have a plan, or so I thought.  I stitched in the ditch and did all of the other quilting.  I actually did both sides of the outer border as I worked my way down this quilt.  I did the top of the bright blue inner border and down the right side as I when and pinned the left.  This is pretty normal for me.  When I got to that first green square I realized just how big it is.  Since that one is also on point it was bigger then the quilting area on my machine.  I started pinning the green square and blue setting triangles so that the were stabilized.  I would need to roll back and forth about 2 inches to get to the bottom and the top of both of those areas.  That was not the problem, I still had no idea what I was going to put into there. I just knew I did not want to do the crosshatching.  Rolling back and forth while crosshatching is just no fun at all. Plus, I did not want to crosshatch the setting triangles.  I wanted those areas to work together.  So I just left the pins in and kept going... all the way to the bottom border.  I even finished the inner border.  Now I only had 2 choices to either take the quilt off the frame, hang it on my design wall and think about what I was going to do, or just start  quilting SOMETHING!   Since I really did not have the time to unload the quilt and wait for an idea I had to start quilting.   What kind of shocked me is I decided on Heirloom feathers.  I had just done another quilt  for Hellen which was one of my first quilts that I feathered for a customer.  Not that she knew that, but I had been Feather Phobic when it came to customer quilts.
So, I quilted the hooks and just when for it.  Why, oh why, was I so afraid of feathers? I have been drawing them since before I got my longarm.  And I can really draw feathers, gorgeous, curving, flowing feathers.  I always say that I longarm better then I draw, I just could never get myself to trust myself with feathers.  And honestly, that is just stupid.  Why do we do things like that to ourselves? 
I new I could draw feathers.  I knew they would be perfect on this quilt.  So why did I let myself second guess myself.  I will say that due to the size of these blocks it was easier quilting them at the end because I could pause and re-position the quilt at any point.  

You can see that the straight blocks fit easily into my quilting space.  The top of the one on point in the pictures is actually just about on my take up roller. With the extend base on my machine I can not quilt the square blocks where they are they would need to be farther away from the front roller. I never take the extend base off my machine.   I love these 2 pictures of the quilt while it was on my frame.  You really get to see the texture the quilting gave the quilt.  

I used Legacy by Pellon Black batting in the quilt.  It really has great stitch definition, but it is extremely linty.  I was blowing my hook out after every pass and there was black lint everywhere.  
The entire quilt was quilted with a dark Olive Green colored So Fine thread.   It is hard to see in the pictures but the colors makes it so that you can see the feathers and also the swags in the other border.  This is one of the quilts that will always be a  favorite.  And I am so glad that I can now say I have gotten over my Feather Phobia.  I have just spent the last 2 months feathering everything I can.

Thanks to Hellen for letting me quilt her beautiful top.  Her piecing is some of the best I have seen.  It was one of those tops that I just could not wait to get my hands on.